NU Online News Service, July 29, 2004, 5:42 p.m. EDT

The growing popularity of limited-benefit “mini medical” health plans contributed to higher second-quarter earnings at UICI, North Richland Hills, Texas.[@@]

The multiline insurer is reporting $42 million in net income for the latest quarter on $512 million in revenue, up from $6.8 million in net income on $431 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

UICI sells life insurance, products for self-employed Americans, and group insurance products for college students and low-income workers.

The students who hold the college health insurance policies have been filing more claims than UICI had expected, but the loss ratio at the self-employed agency division fell to 51%, from 61%.

The Star HRG Division, the UICI division that sells mini medical plans and related products, increased its revenue 34%, to $40 million.